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Age UK North Yorkshire & Darlington
HomeNewsA Strictly Surprise for the Ukulele Group

A Strictly Surprise for the Ukulele Group

Posted on Monday, 23 December 2019 9:07 am | Category: General News Members of our Ukulele Group were delighted when Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas dropped into their Christmas party.

Members of Age UK North Yorkshire & Darlington's Ukulele Groups were surprised when unexpected visitor, Strictly Come Dancing head judge and Latin dance star Shirley Ballas joined them for their Christmas party. Shirley, accompanied by her partner and fellow star of Darlington Hippodrome's pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, Daniel Taylor, headed straight to the dance floor as Shirley danced to the Dean Martin classic Sway with 99-year-old Ukulele Group member Bill Blewitt despite struggling with a hamstring injury.

Member Steve Bingham who was instrumental in organising the visit said:

"Every time we play the song Sway, all the girls come out of the office and start dancing in the corridor and Bill is up on his feet dancing with them.

"It has been fantastic seeing him dance that song with Shirley - she injured her leg last week but she still had a lovely dance with Bill."

Shirley and Daniel posed for pictures with delighted members of the group, volunteers and customers, spending half an hour talking with them and dancing along with the Ukulele band. Ms Ballas said:

“My mum is 82 and she is just so full of life still, she loves it when I go there and we get the guitar out and have a sing-song."

“We are all hitting it (old age) and we should respect and give time where we can to brighten people’s day."

“We just love visiting places like this, even if it is only for half an hour, and the fact that everybody was a Strictly fan was a bonus!”

Mr Taylor said he was delighted to meet the Ukulele Band members and stressed the importance of looking out for older people, especially over the Christmas period.


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Age UK Darlington is a registered charity (Registered Charity No. 1128377) registered in England and Wales as a Limited Company no. 6817492). Registered address: Bradbury House, Beaumont Street West, Darlington, County Durham, DL1 5SX.

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